Are We Ready?


I had ONE more day of school left. There were 10 days left until my due date. After that last day of school I would …

  • paint the crib
  • wash the baby clothes given as gifts
  • decorate the baby’s room
  • pack my bag for the hospital
  • clean house so that all was ready for my return with the new baby

My water broke that night and I delivered our first-born – Benjamin Baruch Woody – on June 9th – the last day of school.

I was NOT ready. The “stuff” was NOT ready.

Benjamin was ready – God was ready.

Our pastor touched on this very issue Sunday during the sermon. We make plans and prepare according to those plans. Yet we are often surprised by the timing of events and the way things happen. God is NOT surprised.

I was SURE I would have 10 days to prepare for the birth of our first child after I finished that year of teaching.

Thankfully my mother was already here and was able to deliver the report cards to my kindergarten students at Almond School. She and Phil got everything else ready the two days I was in the hospital.

This is such a clear picture of how we often view our lives. We make plans and then difficulties in life happen. Those trials can turn our world upside down. Situations occur that we have NO plans for like;

  • a house burning down
  • the death of a loved one
  • cancer of other illness
  • an accident

God is not surprised by any of these situations – these situations are opportunities for God to demonstrate His faithfulness and great love for us.

Demonstrate His love? By the death of a loved one?

God wants us to be ready to face all of life that comes our way. We do that by being ready to trust God no matter what happens. Just as in natural birth, a baby comes when it is ready, we must be ready to respond in faith to the circumstances of our lives.

Is that easy? No. Birth is not easy either, but the end result is WORTH the pain and suffering. So is trusting God. In John 16 Jesus is preparing His disciples for the time when He will leave them. Jesus says –

21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

Jesus goes on to say –

31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus’s disciples were about to watch Him be beaten and crucified. Their world would be shattered!

But Jesus reminds them that He has overcome the world – take heart! He is saying that same thing to you and me.

Are we ready?

It’s Not About Me


Once we as women experience a pregnancy, we get a true picture of what it means for our bodies to not be our own. We feel that little life (or lives) moving inside and we realize it is no longer about us. We may feel sick from certain smells that never bothered us before pregnancy, we also may crave certain foods for no apparent reason. We are no longer in charge and often don’t even understand the changes taking place in our own bodies. This is just the beginning.

Romans 12:1 says “Therefore I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.”

As a mother of young children your body is a living sacrifice. You are no longer your own. You get up in the morning, change diapers, breastfeed, have meals, tend to chores (when able) and meet others’ needs all day long according to their schedule, not your own. A loving mother sacrifices her own wants and needs for her family.

I can still remember thinking when our four children were small that I would never feel rested again.

I couldn’t imagine getting enough rest. Yet, God convicted me with the truth of the above scripture one day at our home group. The home group leader, Phil, asked us to think about what in our lives were hindrances to worship. The immediate response that came to my mind was “my children”! Then I felt shame.

These children were gifts from God!

Why did I see them as a hindrance? Because I did not see my service to them as significant in God’s eyes. I thought a “ministry” was more important. Yet, the Lord showed me those children were my ministry at that time. NOTHING was more important. Offering my body as a living sacrifice WAS an act of worship – one very pleasing to our Lord.

As we contemplate this Easter weekend the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, let us embrace the sacrifices we make as mothers  – moment by moment, day by day.

Jesus is our example – He laid down His life.

As His follower, I must present myself a living sacrifice and recognize it as an act of worship.

…. with love and thankfulness for the redemption of Jesus’ resurrection – have a blessed Resurrection Day!

Unplanned Pregnancy?

Abi and Caleb

Everywhere we look this season there are reminders of the birth of Jesus – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

I love that.

It may be commercial and less than sincere at times, but I love the fact that Jesus is acknowledged and celebrated in front yards, in light displays, in store windows, and many public places. Stars reminiscent of the star over Bethlehem shine from the tops of trees, buildings, and mountains.

Yet for his earthly parents, Jesus conception created some very real concerns.

Mary did not plan her pregnancy – in fact the timing was very problematic. She was engaged to marry Joseph. How would he take this news? It took a visit to Joseph by an angel to validate the legitimacy of Mary’s pregnancy. She was also near the end of her pregnancy when her husband said that they must travel to Bethlehem. Before prenatal visits and ultrasounds Mary did not know her “due date”. Yet, God had it all prepared according to His plan. He knew just when and where His Son would be born. He had angels ready to announce it to the shepherds and placed an extraordinarily bright star to shine over the birthplace. Even though there was no room in the Inn, God chose a place that has allowed people from every tongue and nation to identify with the lowly birth of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings – Jesus.

In Luke 1: 46 -49 – Mary praises God for what the angel told her about her impending pregnancy.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
My spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed.
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

Mary knew in her heart that God was in control of her life and her pregnancy. What a place of peace and rest! Mary did not know what the future held – but she knew He who held her future.

I had an “unplanned” pregnancy. Statistically, about 50% of the mothers reading this did as well. I would not change the birth of that precious child for anything in this world. God knew what He was doing and I am so thankful!

I learned something from a friend years ago. The Bob Bryan family had three older children and a gap of about 17 years and then another child. People often asked if this late-in-life baby was planned. Bob would answer “Yes, this baby was planned from the foundations of the world.” What a true and meaningful response!

Each baby is planned by God as stated in Jeremiah – “I knew you when you were formed in your mother’s womb.” There are no “accidents” in God’s plan for each life.

As we celebrate with our children and grandchildren this year, may we remember that each child was planned by God and each has immeasurable value because of that fact. May we all treasure these moments to celebrate Jesus birth together and as Ann Voskamp states –

“May God’s greatest gift be our greatest joy.”

Merry Christmas!

Angel Adahlyn